Honoring movies released between August 1, 1930 and July 31, 1931, Cimarron became the first western to win Best Picture. It and A Free Soul were also the first films to recieve multiple acting noms. Held at The Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, Lawrence Grant served as host. Jackie Cooper, the first child star to be nominated for best actor fell asleep on best actress nominee Marie Dressler's shoulder. When Dressler won, Cooper had to be eased onto his mother's lap. On a special awards note, two Scientific and Technical Awards were given out: one to Electrical Research, RCA Photophone Inc, and RKO for noise-reducing recording equipment and one to Dupont Film Manufacturing and Eastman Kodak for super sensitive panchromatic film.
Tabu won for Best Cinemtography
Paramount Studios won for Best Sound Recording
The Dawn Patrol won for Best Story
A Free Soul won for Best Actor
Min and Bill won for Best Actress
Skippy won for Best Director
Cimarron won 3 Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Art Direction